sonny_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Also featuring in brief but significant capacity—


Scene Title Idiotically
Synopsis The whole truth will take a much longer time, but Teo makes an attempt to tell the truth, nothing but, and manages to cover a few of the worst parts. Sonny is given A Lot to think about and, for a moment, it seems like second thoughts are among them.
Date March 19, 2009

A few hours earlier, Abigail's text to Teo:

MONOGAMY IS NOT A PIECE OF FUCKING WOOD. Grow up. Love him, or not. But choose, before you break his heart.

Southwest Armpit Of Manhattan — Battery Park

Six o' clock and the sun's still up, barely, though if they were longitudinally further down there would be more light to color in Battery Park's haggard foliage. It had laid in the fallout zone, but policy-makers and something about morale had pegged it at a reasonable priority level as part of the revitalization and rebuilding of the city. There's like.

Grass poking out of the winter- scarred soil, rows evergreens intact, and the statues show in sleek, fresh coats of black. The wings of the diving eagle are upswept, strength of flight defined by the simplified contours of pinions. It throws a wide arc of shadow down over the pavement.

There is a figure standing on the edge of the omission, enjoying the feel of last of the day's sun on his back. He is tall, lean, inimitably familiar, and you probably couldn't give his clothes away for free, they're that old albeit sturdy. There's a cotton hood pulled up over the roof of his skull and a hangdog angle to his neck, shoulders slouch, gaze downward.

The man that approaches is tall and brown-haired - decidedly not Italian, even though the man inside knows a few curses and can trace his lines back to some Caesar. Probably some megalomanic one. But then, they all were. His expression is trying to be hard, but if there's one thing Sonny Bianco isn't, it's hard. Even wearing Connor Kinney's face, he can't approximate a stony face.

There's the scratch of feet as he stops just behind Teo, his shadow cast across the other man's back, blocking some of the rays of the waning sun. He stands there, hands thrust deeply in the pockets of his jacket, a scarf coiled around his neck like a snake. He doesn't say anything.

Teo hears him coming before he feels the omission of solar light on his back and he straightens, instantly, as if startled by a sound rather than recoiling from a dog-snap. He pitches a glance over his shoulder, the cotton of his hood folding against his cheek. There is something childishly furtive about the circles of his shadowed eyes.

"This way."

Shrugging his shoulders up higher, Teo pushes his hands into his pockets deeper. Swings into the first step, out, toward the skeletal iron of the gate in the distance.

Connor glances back over his shoulder, once, then nods and falls into step beside Teo. Despite the anger that's bubbled up, despite the hurt that he's felt, he can't help but feel some of that evaporate now that he's standing beside the other. And he feels ashamed of himself for it. He's never been a fighter.

The doctor follows in silence, eyes cast up ahead as if trying to predict their destination. His throat hurts.

Their destination is fairly difficult to predict. 'Out of the park,' 'into the city' seems about right.

There's a stretch of broad, concrete-slab walkway to cover, a few strips of sidewalk and zebra crossings after that, Tribeca's plateglass storefronts weaving past with stencilled names and wares displayed — to little of Teo's interest. His throat hurts too. The two hang into an alleyway after that. Fire stairs, the diamond corrugation of iron showing the thick red rust of age underfoot, though it's seen enough traffic that neither man's tread — however melancholily heavy they're feeling — actually scrapes any loose to track into the safehouse above it.

Nobody else is home, but there's evidence enough that this has been that before and will be again. Beaten furniture smelling of recent detergent, a few children's toys stored in a box stowed underneath a blue plastic table proportioned for tots. There is no spice rack in the kitchen, but ample cabinet space. The sort of place you'd keep rotating refugee families through. Teo had fixed the lights for this place more than once. That wall is all new.

"My aunt was part of that genocidal cult effort that got me shot in the head the other month," Teo says, in a tone of careful explanation. He's pulling off his jacket. "She turned on them, but spent a few months spying on me and everyone around me a lot. After that whole clusterfuck ended, I asked her to spy on you, too, because I wanted to keep you safe. She's been taken by a Federal agency. Don't know which one yet." He looks up. Down again, meek was the onset of spring. "That's why we can't go home awhile."

Tribeca — Safehouse

It's a measure of Sonny's trust for Teo that he never asks where they're going, never questions the direction, no matter how twisty the course. Once they're inside, his shoulders slump and his face relaxes, ever so slightly.

But only for a moment.

The explanation that Teo gives is difficult to hear. He drops his weight onto a nearby chair and puts a hand up to his face. As he rubs it, Connor fades away and his real face appears. "So the government might know about us." He keeps his face buried in his hand. This just keeps getting better. "Is my condo safe?"

"I don't know." The words are thick going out, and there's a bad taste when he swallows afterward. The calluses on the edge of Teo's hand bite into his cheek, scour away the onset of fatigue and the numb of cold with an audible rasp. "Probably.

"She doesn't know you joined Phoenix, and she wouldn't give them anything until they saw fit and priority to tear it out of her through whatever means. On the upside, she's a variety of telepath and a terrorist of some experience.

"From what I understand, it'll take them a lot of — work to get anything out of her. And as far as I know, you've never been a person of interest." His word choice is mechanical, sterile, and precise, his voice is steady the way a man on a tightwire holds steady: with excruciating caution, and a two-handed grip on something. For Teo, just the fabric of his jacket.

Overshare, much?

"I haven't been. But my father has political opponents. People who'd love to get someone with different policies in the mayor's office. More funding, less funding, easier on the Evolved, harder." Sonny could fret over it, but really, what can he do about it? He buries his fingers in his hair and flexes them.

"So do you think she's at Moab?" Somehow it's easier to talk about the big picture stuff than the little. The sterility of those words is not lost on him, though he's unsure of the reason for it.

Makes things easier to get through, somehow, as if the moment livid curses and high notes start flying, he'd have to stop — or be stopped, with abrupt and painful violence. The dense cloth creaks in Teo's hands.

He glances downward, remembering that he doesn't have a lot of strength in his left, still; ashen, dried skin riddles his finges with fragments like scales and the viney veins across his metacarpals show gray instead of green. Better, of course, than black. "I sincerely doubt your father's opponents will have any influence over the questions that any given Federal agent puts to my aunt if they took her for the reasons I thought they had.

"I don't know." He inhales sharply, a loud sniff that makes Teo's big Finnish nose wrinkle briefly; something of a grimace. Then, blankly, "I hope so. Practically speaking, we're going there anyway. Not much of an electronic trail otherwise, and I'm out of bright ideas."

Sonny glances sidelong to him, at the injury. "What…happened? God, Teo. What now?" He looks from the ashen arm, up to his face. For the first time since they've met up again, he makes eye contact. The pain on his face is all too obvious.

His breath comes in ragged breaths as he meets the other man's eye. What now indeed? It's a question that can apply to many of the issues that hang over their heads.

That— had been an accident, letting that slip. Teo almost snatches his withered hand back into hiding, more embarrassed about his forgetting than anything else. He had been distracted. Lucrezia's abduction does that to him, sometimes. Makes him crazy. He holds absolute faith in few things and when those are bothered, he feels the urge to discuss with the culprit and great and uncomfortable length why it should not be so.

The garment hits his shoe with a slithering thump of zipper and heavy folds, and he sends it sailing onto the chubby peach-colored couch with an arcing kick of his foot.

It is hard for him to meet Salvatore's ridiculously large and generously fringed Bambi eye. The pain in there is worse than that which was taken from his hand. Teo winds up choked into a stalling silence, his face in havoc confined behind the steely clench of his teeth, the twitch of vein in his jaw in tactless evidence of the nature of at least one of his struggles. Whether to tell or to remain silent, harbor his secrets as a practical and personal necessity. People could die. Get arrested. Leave him.

There are a great many issues hanging over their heads.

In the end, though— Teo gets to choose whether this is exactly that. The end. Falteringly, he chooses different. A flock of ravening carrion birds, one stone. Looking for a sentimental statement or grandiose gesture, he can't find one. Instead, he closes his eyes and answers the question. "Gabriel Gray, alias Sylar, borrowed some of my health to give to an injured comrade of ours. I want to ask both of them for help in Moab."

This isn't fair. Issues of spies and Homeland Security, prison breaks, mangled arms, and now Sylar. And Sylar as ally? It seems petty to bring up issues of hurt and broken hearts in the midst of all that. Something as petty as infidelity surely can't compare.

"Sylar? Sylar once forced me to turn the corpse of a dead man into a stranger." He nearly spits out those words. "And threatened to take my power from me and use it better. And you want to trust him?"

Despite his pride, despite desperately wanting to seem strong, he can't entirely hold back the moisture from his eyes. He stands abruptly and paces towards the window. He leans against the sil, shoulders tight and back to Teo. His fingers grip the curtains. What can he say to that?

Tears are filling the space behind Teo's eyes with embarrassing heat and partial blindness. It's part of his job to prepare for worst case scenarios, and though his relationship with the Mayor's son and would-be Power Ranger is well outside the demarcation of 'terrorist business,' he was prepared for the worst case scenario here, too. Tried to be.

He is sick with the undeniable certainty. "He's nearly killed a few of my friends, but he's different now. He's learned to control the ability that was driving him to kill. He could've killed me when I helped him and his friend out, but he didn't. He asked first, did something for the pain afterward. He incapitated a dozen HomeSec and FBI operatives instead of murdering them when they came for him.

"And we need him, Sala. Moab Federal Penitentiary was designed by people who have been capturing and experimenting on Evolved since before we were born. Alexander, Helena, Lucrezia. I'm going to get them back." A ridiculous edge of defiance erodes his voice. Ridiculous is probably better than crazy. Teo knows he must sound crazy.

Sonny is all out of words. He doesn't know what to say, or what to do. This is all so far out of his realm of experience that he's completely lost. He just stands there, staring out a window that has a fascinating view of the side of the next building. He grips the curtain, stares at its faded, yellow and brown pattern.

When he speaks, his words are barely controlled, his voice quivering almost to the point where it's difficult to understand him. "And where am…where'm I in all of this?"

The first two 'I don't know's had sounded ignorant, pathetic, and inadequate enough.

A third, Teo is sure, would be the end. This might be anyway, he knows, but it can't be by his hand. Won't be; he's tired of that, of being the one to execute the death blow to anything kind of sort of good that happens to him. It's Sonny's turn now, if he wants to go away. He tries to think of something better. It takes effort. Makes his breathing choppy, damp.

Sonny can feel it on the back of his neck when Teo finally creeps across the floor to him, a tentative hand hooking on the doctor's sleeve. Teo is distracted again: it's the ugly one. Hideous up close, the nails yellowed, striated, the edges ragged and the clump of cuticles at their base looking more like smeared grime congealed than living flesh.

"With me?" he suggests, fuzzily.

Even if this has to end, Sonny couldn't do it now. Not when there's so much that Teo has to do. For all he and Abby don't get along, for all her advice angered him more than helped, three words do stick in his mind.

He needs you.

A few days ago, he wouldn't have believed it. It certainly didn't feel like he was needed. But now that Teo's finally admitted all the shit that he's been dealing with and has dealt with in the past, things have become clearer - and muddier at the same time.

So when the hand touches his sleeve, it's like an electric current. Sonny turns, quickly, and Teo will find himself wrapped in a tight embrace - though one mindful of that mangled arm. He buries his face against Italian neck, cheek to stubbled cheek, hot breath coming in ragged pulls. He clings to the other like he's about to slip away. And into his ear he whispers in a ragged breath.

"You are such an idiot."

You can't always win, but you can't always lose, either. Some remote component of Teo's mind is still sprained and stumbling under the impossible leap of trust it took. Landed safely on the other side. Injured something doing it, it feels like.

Leaning into it, he winds up squeezed like a tube of paste in his lover's embrace, and though his head kind of feels like it's about to explode, he doesn't find himself suddenly emptied out. There are other things to explain, about Lucrezia's mother and Romero's Gia, what happened with Alexander and what will probably happen to them. He will need help because he's forgotten the words for them. Instead, he mumbles thickly at Sonny's curls:

"Ah." Teo's nose is wet. "Sorry."

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